Event to honour historic black city neighbourhood
The Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival is hoping to get off on the right foot Friday with a brand new event.
The Friendly Fiddler’s 5K Fun Run takes place at 5 p.m. in Rollo Bay.
“In a continued effort to ensure the RBFF is a family-oriented community event, we’ve added an active event to the festivities to encourage healthy lifestyles,’’ said Stanley Chaisson, principle organizer of the run.
“Being a P.E.I. Roadrunnerssanctioned event will help us communicate the event to more runners and music fans.’’
Chaisson said they’ll have running for the body, yoga for the mind and music and community for the spirit.
“In my opinion, both the run and the festival are very much about community, friendship and enjoyment of life, and that’s why we feel it’s a good fit.’’
This is the second new component to be added to the fiddle festival, celebrating 41 years this year, which already incorporates the music camp, introduced in 2016.
The run is also a fundraiser for the music camp scholarship fund “so hopefully this appeals to younger performers and anyone interested in preserving the tradition may participate for that reason,’’ Chaisson said.
Organizers are hoping the run might attract new people to the festival and make plans to spend the night or the weekend.
The fiddle festival concerts kicks off Friday at 7 p.m.
Runners can expect an outand-back course starting at the fiddle grounds with a water view of the Rollo Bay flats, a couple of challenging hills and some friendly fiddlers and energetic music to cheer them on.
Registration is $10 and starts at 4:15 p.m. at the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival Grounds, 961 Veteran’s Memorial Highway, Souris, with the run itself starting at 5 p.m.
A festival that celebrates the most unusual and diverse neighbourhood in Charlottetown takes place July 15.
Festival for the Bog will be held during the afternoon in the city’s old west end where “the bog’’, a community founded by former slaves brought to the Island in the 1780s and later cast off by their owners, existed for nearly a century beginning in 1810.
A number of people settled along the eastern side of Government Pond on vacant land in a boggy area.
With relatively few black immigrants to the Island in the 19th century, local blacks and whites intermarried and the bog became a mixed-race area with a distinctly African heritage.s
Sponsored by Canada 150 and the Black Cultural Society of P.E.I., and with support from the city, Festival of the Bog begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday with a walking tour of the area led by Jim Hornby.
The tour will recount the history of the people and community during the 19th century. It will then proceed down Rochford Street, which will be temporarily closed to traffic, from near Euston Street and “Black Sam’s Bridge’’ to “Jail (Pownal) Square’’, where a staged event will present commentaries, art and music to acknowledge this unacknowledged community.
Music will be presented by the Scott Parsons Band, Jim Hornby and the West Enders, and Tamara, Claire and Friends.
A special feature of the stage portion of the event is that the citizens of Charlottetown, with a special welcome to the many descendants of the bog, are invited to offer any comments they may wish to contribute during the remembrance.
Anyone interested is welcome to contact Hornby, festival director, at Hornby@pei.sympatico.ca or Parsons, president of the Black Cultural Society, at email@example.com.
“In my opinion, both the run and the festival are very much about community, friendship and enjoyment of life, and that’s why we feel it’s a good fit.’’ Stanley Chaisson